Martin and Lessard clinch playoff berth at beach volleyball World Tour stop

BEIJING – Annie Martin of Sherbrooke, Que., and Marie-Andrée Lessard of Ville LaSalle, Que., clinched a playoff berth at the $300,000 Grand Slam event on the FIVB beach volleyball World Tour circuit posting wins in their first two round robin matches.

Martin and Lessard, seeded 21st, defeated Maria Tsiartsiani and Vasiliki Arvaniti of Greece 21-17, 21-13 then beat Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler of Germany 21-17, 21-19. 

The Canadians are first in pool B, followed by the Greeks and number-two seeds Maria Antonelli and Talita Da Rocha Antunes of Brazil both 1-1. The Brazilians lost to the Greeks. The top-three from each of the eight pools advance. Martin and Lessard play the Brazilians in their final round robin match Thursday.

On the men’s side, both Canadian teams lost first of three scheduled round robin matches to powerful Brazilian duos. In Pool L, Josh Binstock and Richard Van Huizen, both of Toronto, fell to third-seeds Ricardo Alex Costa Santos and Marcio Araujo 21-13, 21-18.

In Pool K, Christian Redmann of Toronto and Ben Saxton of Calgary (in photo) lost to second-seeds Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rigo 25-23, 21-17. Both Canadian teams play their final two round robin matches on Thursday.